To Be, or Not To Be

To Be, or Not To Be

By Blaney Pridgen

All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views  and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser.

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate…that is the question of today.  In our polarized culture, we may hear only two answers: “Yes please, as soon as possible” or “Hell, no.”  Then there’s the timorous “I’m going to wait and see.”  To this third one, I am wondering wait and see what?  Who might dodge death with little or no reactions? Who will get a horrible rash and die anyhow?

I can’t answer the question.  Not quite yet.  I choose to dissemble a little longer.  I can, however, suggest an approach to answering the question.  What we are hearing right now is too much fear, I do believe, the poles of fear of not getting the vaccination on time and the fear of getting a dangerous quick fix.  There’s fear of the consequences of getting or not getting.  Die ifyou do or die if you don’t.  A better way of finding our answer, whatever it is, is courage not fear; i.e., don’t do anything because you are afraid; rather, do something because you are brave.  Don’t make a decision predicated on distrust; rather, make a decision that is built upon trust.  I suggest we discover our trust and not rest in fear.  In all of life, it is much more important to discern what one is fearlessly running toward than what one is cravenly running from.

When you and I come to make a decision about the vaccination, we may receive it with courage, or we may reject it with courage.  Either way, we are braving the consequences, secure in our discernment.  And we will not whine like titty babies whatever our futures bring.  So, I ask you and myself, “What do I trust?”  Do that.  Otherwise, we may run off the cliff while looking back at the bear. 

Speaking of cliffs, remember the person who fell off of one and for the time being avoided certain death by grasping a branch growing out of the rocks midway down.  This person cried and cried aloud, “Help, help! Is anyone up there?”  Finally, as the branch began to dislodge, a voice from above came: “No fear, my child, I am your Lord.  Let go and my angel will catch you and carry safely down.”  This person pondered the advice and cried out again, “Is anyone else up there?”

Again, I am reminded of the minister trapped in her church by a quickly rising flood.  You know the story.  She climbed to the balcony, the ceiling beams, and then the steeple to escape drowning.  Then, came a man in a boat to save her.  She refused help saying that the Lord would save her.  Then, came a rescue team by helicopter.  She refused their help too, claiming the Lord would save.  When she finally drowned and ended up in the presence of God, she was not much comforted and complained to God, “Why didn’t you hear my prayers, see my plight and save me?”  God replied, “I tried my dear…I sent you a boat and a helicopter to rescue you, but you refused.”

Well, do these worn-out stories have anything to do with our decisions about whether or not to get vaccinated?  Perhaps.  In the meantime, we might well remember that we are on the deck of the Titanic regardless of how we choose to react or respond to any other situation we might be in.  For me, I think I’ll wear the life jacket, get in the lifeboat if reasonably allowed, and for the time being remain as courageous as I possibly can.  Fear won’t change a thing.